Sunday Jul 14

AndersonKaren Karen Leona Anderson is the author of the poetry collections Receipt (Milkweed Editions) and Punish honey (Carolina Wren). Her work has appeared in ZYZZYVA, New American Writing, Fence, Volt, The Best American Poetry 2012, and other journals and anthologies. She is an associate professor of English at St. Mary's College of Maryland.

Skirt ($29.69 TJ Maxx)

God, I said I’d never hobble,
but maybe broomstick or bell—
good to the legs—bubble
or trumpet according to the mags.
A stitch in my time, but tulipy, sunbursty—
or knife and cartridge, alternatively,
with a military skirt, the myth
of the frail girl body underneath,
inside; the old cocktail fork
of good enough/not good
enough, whether at the office
or breastfeeding. I can’t
pin up a whole half
of the species. I can’t stop.
I guess a good skirt
would help; I guess I’m bleeding;
I guess from the force with which
I pleat myself back to myself.

Little Black Dress ($49.99 Nordstrom)
after Laurie Colwin

I take you as me, chicken salady, adaptable.
I mean, you’re a meat but bird,
celery, mayonnaise? Hardly counts, now

that you’re removed from your gaudy
feather trim and sequin eyes. Basic,
unflappable, the dead body—lean or not—

fine at a gala or barbeque. OK, I admit.
Hemlines change and you’re the fourth one
I’ve bought, synthetic, uncompostable,

and department store brand. I’m not
my mother; I couldn’t have sewed you up
had I the time. But let’s say we all feel this way—

costumed—we have in common
the slimming thing, uniform, funereal.
Undigested by time or fashion.

Consumed wherever we go
without gusto and without
disgust, also.

Lacy ($292.06

Oh, I’ll get your bone lace, tatted on a fish’s spine
for the bride, for your carnival. Inside, though,

I sew you to your shadow, crude
and machine made, torque your honeymoon,

bad fairy at the wedding. I come unstraight,
counting ones for thongs and straps,

unsunned and stripperish. I look
forward to your indoor tan, your SUV,
and your fertility kit. I can’t knit

(too patient
for me that click and twist) and                      unbridesmaidenly
I never loved the pillow—talk nor cool

percale—but oh,         if let outside, I can macramé some ozoney
throw for the bed.                              Can you seat me near

the door please, at the big, ahem, event?

Mom’s fault. I have this thing             for holes.